At the moment there’s a slight nip in the air come evening time and the sun is setting earlier in the sky….a sure sign that Autumn/Fall has arrived.
I just love this time of year and the bounty of glorious food that comes with it…hand-sized onions, giant marrows, big-as-a-fist bell peppers and striped squash in all their radiant colours. None excite me much more than the pumpkin. Its festive orange skin, swollen middle and bright-orange flesh just begs to be roasted, cooked and pureed into soups and made into pies.
This year seems to have produced a bumper crop and so I have had something of a big bake-off this week in the bariatric kitchen. I’ve made some gloriously smooth soups flavoured with herbs, tomatoes and just a hint of cheese; baked a fabulous no-crust pumpkin pie the recipe for which I will post nearer to Hallow’een; and a very moreish fruity and spiced pumpkin bread or tea loaf that hits the spot when you fancy a slice of something sweet.
It uses plain pumpkin puree (simply cook pumpkin until tender, drain very well if necessary, then whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth) or take a can of pure pumpkin (I used the Libby’s brand). The recipe uses 1/2 can so it’s the perfect excuse to make 2 loaves and give one as a treat to a friend or freeze the other for a winter afternoon treat further down the road into winter.
It’s a wonderfully moist bread that keeps well in an airtight tin, wrapped in foil … if it stays around that long. I’ve also served it with a little low-fat and low-sugar custard as a pudding …somewhat like a ginger sponge. Delicious!
This recipe has also been submitted in the 1st edition Tiendeo competition ‘Seasonal Recipes’ see http://www.tiendeo.co.uk/Camberley since it is a great Autumn recipe using seasonal pumpkin and rich, warming spices.
FRUITY AND SPICY PUMPKIN TEA BREAD
low-fat cooking spray
175g/13/4 cups plain/all purpose flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp low-fat spread or light butter
12 tbsp/3/4 cup Splenda granulated sweetener
3 tbsp/1/4 cup olive oil
225g/1 cup pureed unsweetened pumpkin or 1/2 x 425-g/15-oz can pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
100 ml/1/2 cup water
50g/1/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350F/gas mark 4. Generously spritz a 22 x 11 x 6-cm/81/2 x 41/2 x 21/2-inch loaf tin/pan with low-fat cooking spray and line the base with greaseproof/waxed paper.
2. Mix the flour with the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
3. Whisk the low-fat spread or light butter with the sweetener (using an electric beater), until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Blend the pumpkin into the butter mixture and then the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
5. Slowly add the flour mixture with the water, then fold in the raisins. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin/pan.
6. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (not sticky with mixture). Allow to stand for 10 minutes in the tin/pan then turn out to cool on a wire rack until completely cold. Slice to serve.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1
CALORIES PER PORTION: 104